We have finished Rally Germany and have held on to our 2nd PWRC position, which I am very happy with. Leading into the event we were unsure what our pace would be, as this was our first tarmac rally, but, after spending the first day learning the feeling in the car, my confidence in the amount of grip on offer came very quickly.
Going into today we trailed Armindo Araujo by 23.8 seconds. The plan was to push on the first stage and see if we could make any inroads. It wasn’t a perfect stage for us, but we did take 1.8 seconds from the lead, though we then dead heated on the next stage, meaning we arrived at service still 22.2 seconds behind with only two stages left. So the final stages were a matter of consolidating, but still keeping the pressure on, in case the leader made any mistakes. In the end we had a trouble free run and added a further 2 stage wins to our total tally of 6 stage wins for the weekend.
We remain in 3rd in the championship, but have closed in on second place Patrik Flodin, who was third here this weekend. However, we still have an extra nominated round up our sleeve over the two drivers ahead of us, so we will be aiming for maximum points in Japan with our own Team Green car, in just 3 weeks time.
The result has completely exceeded my expectations and we will head for our next Pirelli Star Driver round, which is also on tarmac (Rally France) with a lot of confidence on a surface that I really enjoy driving on. Something that has helped us a lot this weekend is our pace notes, which worked perfectly and a huge thanks to John, who did a great job, despite having to battle through a throat infection pre event. Also, a huge thanks to the Ralliart Italy and Pirelli teams, who did a great job all weekend and gave me a perfect car to drive and we had no problems with the car all weekend. It was great too that Dad and the family were here to cheer us on, waving the Kiwi flag as they camped on the side of the stage s in their motor home.
Over the next couple of days we will have our video diary posted, press release out and our gallery updated on our website. Thanks everyone for all the messages of support that we had, it has been much appreciated! In the meantime, I will stay put in the UK until next Friday, when I fly out to Japan. Then after Japan I will return home for 10 days, before flying back for France.
Thanks again, Hayden
WRC RALLY GERMANY – DRIVER SUMMARY
38 – HAYDEN PADDON (NZL, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo)
Day One – Paddon drove confidently throughout Day One, despite it being his first German rally. His only problem was on SS3 when he lost five seconds because he didn’t turn his Mitsubishi tightly enough into a hairpin, was unable to reverse and had to do a three-point turn. He did however win the final stage of the day and, although over half a minute off leader Araújo, reached overnight parc ferme just over a second behind second-placed Flodin and ready for a battle on Day Two.
Day Two – This young Pirelli Star Driver went from strength-to-strength on the second day. He suffered a little understeering on SS7, which worsened when he changed to hard compound tyres for SS10. Nonetheless, he drove cleanly without any significant errors. Having decided he could not catch leader Araújo, the New Zealand Rally Champion focused on maintaining his advantage of more than a minute over third placed Flodin. He found a good rhythm and picked up three stage wins as his pace continually increased. His confidence only faltered when he was confronted by the changes in surface on the final long stage.
Day Three – Paddon finished second after a brilliant drive on his first ever tarmac rally. He kept the pressure on winner and fellow Mitsubishi driver Araújo throughout and didn’t make any significant errors. His result sealed a full house of podium finishes in his three P-WRC rounds so far this season and earned him 18 P-WRC points. Unfortunately for Flodin, this reinforced Paddon’s third place in the Championship standings, leaving the Kiwi only seven points adrift of his Swedish rival.
WRC RALLY GERMANY – EVENT REPORT – P-WRC
Reigning P-WRC Champions Armindo Araújo (PRT) and Miguel Ramalho (PRT) led the sixth round of the FIA 2010 Production car World Rally Championship this weekend at ADAC Rallye Deutschland from the opening stage and never looked back. The impenetrable Portuguese pairing scooped their second victory of the season, clocking nine stage wins in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and Araújo increased his Championship lead over second-placed Patrik Flodin (SWE) to a full 18 P-WRC points.
This impressive display didn’t always come easily though. A strong first day was followed by a taxing Day Two. A missed junction on SS7, a spin on SS10 and a puncture on SS11, which left Araújo with only one spare tyre, allowed the skill of Pirelli Star Driver Hayden Paddon (NZL) to come to the fore. The young New Zealand Champion set consistently strong stage times. He was unable to match Araújo’s pace, but kept the pressure on his fellow Mitsubishi driver, despite never having driven on tarmac before. Paddon’s form was rewarded by a well-deserved second place, sealing a full house of podium finishes in his three P-WRC rounds so far this season
and earning him 18 P-WRC points.
Unfortunately for Flodin, this reinforced Paddon’s third place in the Championship standings, leaving the Kiwi only seven points adrift of his Swedish rival.
Flodin did however scoop the final place on the P-WRC podium to take home 15 P-WRC points. He had a strong start to the rally and set competitive times, but when his engine began to overheat on SS5 and he started to lose horsepower, Paddon saw his chance to close in on the Swede. They started Day Two with only a second separating them, but while Paddon powered on relentlessly, Flodin missed a junction on SS10 and stalled his Subaru trying to correct his mistake. This error cost him over half a minute and allowed the Kiwi to snatch a second place that he refused to concede.
Source: FIA Event Report and Team Report